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If you’re happy and you know it ….. shake your tail!

Shippo: The brain-controlled tail that wags with your mood
Shippo: The brain-controlled tail that wags with your mood
I’ve fallen in love with those cute robotic wagging tails that you can wear! If you’re happy and excited they’ll wag furiously, and when you’re calm and relaxed they’ll hardly move. They’re hooked up to a headset to measure your brain activity while a clip-on pulse monitor measures your heartbeat. It determines your mental state, which it sends to the tail over Bluetooth.

The technology is similar to that used to detect brain seizures or in the diagnosis of dementia or sleep disorders.

While the tails probably don’t show the distinction between being happily excited or on the verge of panic, they are one of the ways that technology presages how our thoughts affect our experience.

I guess our aim would be to have that tail wagging happily all the time as thoughts of joy, happiness, delight, and achievement fill consciousness? And most of us realise the importance of quiet reflective times when the tail would barely move.

While we now know that happiness is good for your health, emerging clinical trials show that thoughts and emotions such as anger and sadness affect our health negatively.

You’ve heard it all before. You’ve decided you need to get rid of negative thinking. But how do you change your thinking?

One of the oldest and most tried approaches to improving one’s life is the practice of meditation and prayer. Now, science is weighing in on how prayer and meditation impact the human brain.

A new study from the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine was recently featured on the Science Channel's "Through the Wormhole” in the USA. The trial was conducted by Dr. Andrew Newberg on the effect of religious and spiritual experiences on the brain. He concluded that prayer can increase activity in certain areas of the brain. It helps us to feel connected.

Meditation and prayer are increasingly gaining attention as something that can create shifts in thought that have significant outcomes, including helping people to move past painful experiences or stick to lifestyle changes to improve their health.

Possibly the most famous proponent of gaining a connection to the divine, Jesus’ recipe for healing thought through prayer included seeing ourselves and others through God’s eyes.

For me, meditation or prayer must lead to solutions.

For example, you’re angry or resentful. After acknowledging that other person’s and your inseparable connection within the all-loving divine consciousness, the problem doesn’t seem so big or unsolvable. You’ve seen the bigger picture and are ready to make intelligent and mutually-beneficial decisions and actions.

I just typed ‘prayer heals’ into Google and got 5 million results: evidence that many people are already treating their connection with the divine consciousness as part of their healthcare regimen.

While extremely cute and fun, wearing a tail might never be seen as normal or desirable. However, statistics point to meditation and prayer one day soon becoming the ‘new normal’, an integral part of health care.

Speaking from experience in the mind-body field especially as it relates to health, Kay Stroud has been published in numerous newspapers and online publications. For two years, her column has appeared in the weekly community newspaper, Toowoomba's Mail. She also represents Christian Science to the media and government in Northern Australia.

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